Are shavings and sawdust the same thing?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kprhok, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. kprhok

    kprhok Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 18, 2009
    Are "shavings" the same thing as sawdust?

    My neighbor just gave me four huge containers with clean oak sawdust that came from a sawmill when he learned I had a new chicken coop. I don't know if I should use it for bedding, floor, or neither.

    I have seen "shavings" for things like dog bedding (cedar shavings), but the shavings are much larger than what I would call sawdust from a woodshop or mill.

    I don't want my chickens to think they've found the laying mash bonanza if I decide to pour the sawdust across the dirt floor. Comments?
  2. agirly4chicks

    agirly4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia USA
    Sawdust and shavings are different.

    Sawdust from a sawmill or table saw is very, very fine. Finer than sand.

    Shavings is the size of graded cheese and bigger. But no smaller than graded or shredded cheese.

    I hope this helps.
  3. Elise

    Elise Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 12, 2008
    Definitely not the same thing. Don't use sawdust because it's, well, dust-- can you imagine breathing that at home all day? It won't be any better for the chickens. You should be able to get big pressure-packed bags of hardwood shavings at a feed store for cheap. Don't use cedar, though, because the oils are irritating. Pine or aspen are best and should be easy to find.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hardwood sawdust or shavings are a bit more prone to mold than spruce/pine/fir, so some people prefer not to use them in the coop. Sawdust you wouldn't want to use *anyway*, at least not unless you were absolutely forced to. Chicks may eat it, and it is way too dusty for any age of chicken. Also mats down rather unpleasantly.

    You can buy bales of shavings at the feed store for pretty cheap.

    In the meantime, your oak sawdust could be composted along with some fresh grass clippings or a lot of manure, and will eventually make a good soil amendment for your garden, especially for plants that don't mind a little acidity in the soil. I wouldn't put it direclty on the garden now, though, unless you have somewhere you'd like to turn into a garden bed *next* year (in which case, lay down a layer of wet newspaper and then top with the shavings; let sit for the summer; then till in a bunch of fresh grass clippings or manure next fall, and you will be good to go in the spring [​IMG])

    Have fun,

  5. agirly4chicks

    agirly4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2009
    Hamilton, Georgia USA

    You sure are full of great advice. Keep it coming!

    Thank you,

  6. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I agree! I think Pat should write a book. She always has sound, well thought out ideas. Thank you so much! Whenever I see one of her posts, I know I am about to learn something important...
  7. trinity

    trinity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2009
    Amarillo Texas
    i love learnigngnew things thanks pat

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